Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Welsh Nurburgring

Back in the Mid-Sixties you were more likely to read about Llandrindod Wells than Laguna Seca in Motor Sport magazine. The reason for this was that its editor WB had come to live in the locality, so suddenly features on the town's art-deco Automobile Palace were jostling for space alongside the exploits of Jimmy Clark and Graham Hill.

Given this it was no surprise to find an article in the May 1964 edition entitled "Interview with an Optimist" in which Mr Douglas Jones of Knighton and the Llandrindod Chamber of Trade were pushing the idea of a Welsh Nurburgring. This was to be a 30 mile circuit with race headquarters in Llandrindod and paddock facilities at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd. The map above which was published in MS shows the proposed track which would have run in an anti-clockwise direction.

Now even in 1964 such a circuit was a non-starter, after all the RAC had squashed the idea of car racing on the Isle of Man back in the Fifties. WB was fairly enthusiastic describing the circuit as splendid but more suited to GT rather than GP cars. The need for an Act of Parliament to close these public road was of course a major stumbling block, leaving WB to muse "but if Welsh National Rule ever came about?" As a youthful enthusiast for Home Rule I was pleased that my favourite magazine had come up with yet another good reason for escaping the dead hand of London rule.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. The Epynt motorcycle circuit was often described as a mini-Nurburgring.

radnorian said...

Thanks for the comment jwd and of course epynt is the correct Welsh spelling. I'm sure you know about the great site covering the Epynt motorcycle races but for anyone who doesn't check out:

Anonymous said...

Cofiwch yr Epynt. My family are still waiting to return after being kicked out in WW2 and dispersed to the four winds, the language of the hearth faded away like the memories of that dear mynydd